Iowa City: A Great City For People Who Love Books, Says Livability

by on October 31st, 2012

Stick another feather in the city’s cap of “Best Places To…” Iowa City was just named one of the nation’s “Top 10 Cities for Book Lovers” by, an online resource that offers information on the best places to live, visit, work, play, and explore among the country’s small- to mid-sized communities.

The list pays tribute to iconic independent bookstores and the cities that support them — stores that offer “hand-selected books, mismatched armchairs and a staff of locals just dying to tell you what they read,” according to the article. Iowa City’s long list of bookstores, with specific mention of Prairie Lights and the Haunted Bookshop, made it a “front runner in our quest to find the best book cities.”

Readers’ posts were also quick to point out other factors that might be deemed important to those who love books: Iowa City is a UNESCO City of Literature. It’s home to the world-renowned Writer’s Workshop and many writers. And the Iowa City Public Library sees more than 750,000 visitors and more than 1.5 million checkouts per year.

Other communities that made the list: Portland, Oregon; Kansas City, Missouri; San Jose, California; Charlottesville, Virginia: Traverse City, Michigan; Pueblo, Colorado; Coral Gables, Florida; Spokane, Washington; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

To read the full article, visit Read more Iowa City news on the City of Iowa City’s website:

It’s not the first time Livability has recognized Iowa City. In February 2012, the Iowa City Public Library was named one of the Top 5 Children’s Libraries by editors looked at 500 communities across the country to find the best libraries for kids. The children’s libraries selected not only looked amazing, they also offered great programs and get kids excited about reading, learning and exploring. Editors consulted several nationally recognized authorities on the subject of libraries and children’s literature, including the American Library Association, to determine criteria for the ranking. Among them: the library’s responsiveness to community’s needs.

The Iowa City Public Library was chosen for its visually appealing spaces for children, full range of programs, large collection of books, integration of new technologies and proven success in getting kids to engage. Read more here.

Top 10 Children’s Libraries (February 2012)
1. ImaginOn – Charlotte, NC
2. Tulsa City County Library – Tulsa, OK
3. Vancouver Community Library – Vancouver, WA
4. Lied Scottsbluff Public Library – Scottsbluff, NE
5. Iowa City Public Library – Iowa City, IA
6. El Paso Public Library – El Paso, TX
7. Laramie County Library – Cheyenne, WY
8. Brentwood Public Library – Brentwood, TN
9. Birmingham Public Library – Birmingham, AL
10. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County – Cincinnati, OH

Visit the Iowa City Public Library today.
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April Jo Harder
Public Relations Specialist
Iowa City Public Library

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